Freudenberg builds on local innovation to support China's sustainable development

After decades of fast-paced economic growth, a green and sustainable development path has become increasingly important and urgent for China. At a pan-Asian Innovation Forum held in Shanghai, global technology group Freudenberg underlined its commitment to support the megatrend-driven sustainability and innovation needs reflected in China's 13th Five-Year-Plan.

"Innovation, a key driver for sustainability" was the central theme of the Group's pan-Asian Innovation Forum, which some 100 Chinese and international Freudenberg executives, managers and R&D employees attended to exchange best practices and discuss major innovation trends. The Forum was organized for the first time ever in China this year, as a follow-up event to Freudenberg's Global Innovation Forum, which is traditionally held at company headquarters in Germany. This reflects the importance of China for the Freudenberg Group's overall innovation strategy. "Throughout our more than 167-year company history, Freudenberg has had a strong tradition of sustainability, encompassing responsibility for society, a long-term entrepreneurial approach and commitment to constant innovation," said Bettina Schoen-Behanzin, Regional Representative Asia for the Freudenberg Group. "In China, we are strengthening our innovation efforts to make a positive contribution to the future development of the country by offering innovative products that add value through sustainability."

Air purity – a pressing sustainability challenge

In October, China released its national plan for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which translates each target of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into action plans for the country. One of these challenging targets is the improvement of urban air quality, with the aim of reducing heavy pollution in major cities by 25 percent by 2020. In this area, Freudenberg Filtration Technologies, a Freudenberg Business Group, delivers effective industrial and consumer filtration solutions to protect human health and the environment. Freudenberg Filtration Technologies continually invests in local research and development as well as manufacturing in China. Recent investments include a new production line for the activated carbon coating of filtration materials as well as state-of-the-art R&D testing facilities at the company's Suzhou site. The plant was recognized by Chinese authorities as a "High & New Technology Enterprise (HNTE)" in 2015.

Helping to shape air quality standards nationwide

Based on its long-standing expertise as a globally active German company with a growing presence in China, Freudenberg and its filtration experts also contribute to China's sustainable development by helping to shape national air quality norms. "As an active member of Chinese industry standards committees, Freudenberg is committed to continuous progress in China's filtration industry," said Leo Xu, Sales Director Industrial Filtration China. Freudenberg experts provide counsel, for example, on the standardization of air filters or national standards for air purification in ventilation and air conditioning.

Promoting sustainable manufacturing in China's rapidly evolving industry

Freudenberg Filtration Technologies was a finalist at the 2016 Freudenberg Innovation Award, an internal innovation prize that is awarded bi-annually at the Global Innovation Forum in Germany. The nominated filtration project was developed by a team of colleagues from different countries including China, and involves gas phase filtration to protect industrial technology against corrosion. In China's vast industrial plants, harmful acidic gases such as sulfur, chlorine or nitrogen compounds in ambient air cause corrosion of electronic components in motor control rooms. This leads to increased maintenance cost, downtime and even uncontrolled shutdowns of operations. The Viledon ChemControl filtration systems from Freudenberg Filtration Technologies protect sensitive and critical equipment and ensure the safe, reliable and long-lasting operation of industrial plants through an innovative unit design along with intelligent measuring technology, which constantly monitors air quality in control rooms or data centers in real time.

Freudenberg offers state-of-the-art, sustainable technology for China's long-term development in many other industries and for numerous applications. "Environmental and social responsibility are fundamental to future economic success in China. 'Innovating Together', our brand promise, is built on our belief in sustainable technologies," said Bettina Schoen-Behanzin.